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7 Ways To Turn Your Thoughts Into Reality

7 Ways To Turn Your Thoughts Into Reality

Your mind is where your reality begins. Most of us don’t know how to think productively however – how to turn our thoughts and dreams into something concrete.The obstacles are many – procrastination, lack of motivation, fear of failure. It’s important to not forget, however, that our thoughts ultimately blueprint our destinies. I’ll take a look at complementing a thought with tricks to make your thoughts turn into a reality. So without further ado…

1. Connect it with the bigger picture

If anything sounds like it’s not worth it, remember this: someone will read your eulogy one day. Let’s suppose they held the entire list of all your thoughts. The thoughts that produced great change. The thoughts that snowballed from little habits into bigger effects. Even the thoughts that didn’t account to much. Will they be able to tell the underlying patterns? What causes will prove that your life was dedicated to something bigger than yourself? All of your thoughts are categorized in one mysteriously interconnected network, so let loose and don’t be afraid to associate a thought with your own grand visions for the future, the world, life, and even the universe itself. This will cement a more imaginative plan into something more concrete. You may also feel more motivated to start doing, knowing that your thinking isn’t isolated and random, but a good representation of everything you want to be!

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2. Practice productive procrastination

Side projects are important. They’re the stuff you throw yourself in when no one is watching, and the pastime you would rather dabble in than do work. Despite this, procrastination is still the epitome of lacking productivity, right? Enter a more refined type of procrastination: productive procrastination. Find a few little projects you’re ready to get started in. Work on the one which feels more appealing, then bump to another when you’re sick of that one, and then jump back to the other one in a virtuous cycle. Productive procrastination can drastically increase your productivity, and you’ll feel like you’re actually accomplishing more.

3. Find the right group of people first

When surrounded with the right group of people, we’re much more likely to give reality to our thoughts. The right group of people are those who support your thoughts, challenge your assumptions, help you out when you’re stuck, and obviously steal your own ideas. Now it’s easier than ever to find them. The internet is packed with countless communities dedicated to countless interests, and that’s just one part. Meet-ups and clubs situated in a hands-on environment are available where you live, and if you can’t find one you’re interested in, why not start one? Upon surrounding yourself with positive influences, your thoughts will come alive and grow stronger than in isolation.

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4. Categorize thoughts based on their value

There’s an unbelievable amount of stimuli rotating in your brain. That stimuli branches into the unconscious, and you’re supposedly left with little conscious ability to direct its power or flow. It’s obvious that we’re caught in ingrained patterns and impulses, and lost in the grind of unconscious thinking. After all, our brains often run on autopilot; we’re not hyper-aware of everything, nor will we ever be. Bring these scattered thoughts into the light with a spreadsheet and one week. Track a thought and a SMART goal to achieve it. You’ll soon notice an inquisitive pattern – and find out which thoughts to implement and the ones to throw out.

5. Use the SMART goal system

Good goal-making is a mark of the good life. Those who plan well live well. So why do people build their thoughts on less than adequate goals every day? Maybe it’s because not enough of them try the SMART goal system. This method incorporates specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-worthy steps into doing just about anything. You might want to lose weight. The typical response is to write it down and get excited about it. But how much weight needs to be lost before you can accomplish it? What can you use to track it? Is it attainable in circumstances like health and money? What date must be set to justify accomplishing it, and is it even realistic in that time-frame? Now you got a workout more intense than a marathon!

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6. Remix productivity techniques

Hacking life is a modern technique. With so many productivity techniques to choose from in the 21st century, who wouldn’t feel overwhelmed? The first step is to learn more about productivity in general. Devour anything you can find – books, articles, blogs, clippings of magazines. Take a course and attempt a technique. Then try another. One of my favorite examples is to start a 25-minute timer in a Pomodoro fashion while working on productive procrastination. The possibilities are nearly limitless learning.

7. Track your life

Let’s finish with a habit-tracking app. Habit tracking apps are exactly what they sound like – they track your progress of keeping up with a habit over time. Choose a tiny habit that is very easy to change, and you’re much more likely to continue with it. Watch it expand over time. Observe the data. Then gradually increase it until you’re doing something you’ve always wanted to do every day. Don’t be afraid to experiment; you can also track elements like your mood, nutrition, sleep, exercise, goals, and to-do lists.

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How do you turn your thoughts into reality?

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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

It is easy, in the onrush of life, to become a reactor – to respond to everything that comes up, the moment it comes up, and give it your undivided attention until the next thing comes up.

This is, of course, a recipe for madness. The feeling of loss of control over what you do and when is enough to drive you over the edge, and if that doesn’t get you, the wreckage of unfinished projects you leave in your wake will surely catch up with you.

Having an inbox and processing it in a systematic way can help you gain back some of that control. But once you’ve processed out your inbox and listed all the tasks you need to get cracking on, you still have to figure out what to do the very next instant. On which of those tasks will your time best be spent, and which ones can wait?

When we don’t set priorities, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. (And following the path of least resistance, as the late, great Utah Phillips reminded us, is what makes the river crooked!) That is, we’ll pick and sort through the things we need to do and work on the easiest ones – leaving the more difficult and less fun tasks for a “later” that, in many cases, never comes – or, worse, comes just before the action needs to be finished, throwing us into a whirlwind of activity, stress, and regret.

This is why setting priorities is so important.

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3 Effective Approaches to Set Priorities

There are three basic approaches to setting priorities, each of which probably suits different kinds of personalities. The first is for procrastinators, people who put off unpleasant tasks. The second is for people who thrive on accomplishment, who need a stream of small victories to get through the day. And the third is for the more analytic types, who need to know that they’re working on the objectively most important thing possible at this moment. In order, then, they are:

1. Eat a Frog

There’s an old saying to the effect that if you wake up in the morning and eat a live frog, you can go through the day knowing that the worst thing that can possibly happen to you that day has already passed. In other words, the day can only get better!

Popularized in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!, the idea here is that you tackle the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day, so you can move through the rest of the day knowing that the worst has already passed.

When you’ve got a fat old frog on your plate, you’ve really got to knuckle down. Another old saying says that when you’ve got to eat a frog, don’t spend too much time looking at it! It pays to keep this in mind if you’re the kind of person that procrastinates by “planning your attack” and “psyching yourself up” for half the day. Just open wide and chomp that frog, buddy! Otherwise, you’ll almost surely talk yourself out of doing anything at all.

2. Move Big Rocks

Maybe you’re not a procrastinator so much as a fiddler, someone who fills her or his time fussing over little tasks. You’re busy busy busy all the time, but somehow, nothing important ever seems to get done.

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You need the wisdom of the pickle jar. Take a pickle jar and fill it up with sand. Now try to put a handful of rocks in there. You can’t, right? There’s no room.

If it’s important to put the rocks in the jar, you’ve got to put the rocks in first. Fill the jar with rocks, now try pouring in some pebbles. See how they roll in and fill up the available space? Now throw in a couple handfuls of gravel. Again, it slides right into the cracks. Finally, pour in some sand.

For the metaphorically impaired, the pickle jar is all the time you have in a day. You can fill it up with meaningless little busy-work tasks, leaving no room for the big stuff, or you can do the big stuff first, then the smaller stuff, and finally fill in the spare moments with the useless stuff.

To put it into practice, sit down tonight before you go to bed and write down the three most important tasks you have to get done tomorrow. Don’t try to fit everything you need, or think you need, to do, just the three most important ones.

In the morning, take out your list and attack the first “Big Rock”. Work on it until it’s done or you can’t make any further progress. Then move on to the second, and then the third. Once you’ve finished them all, you can start in with the little stuff, knowing you’ve made good progress on all the big stuff. And if you don’t get to the little stuff? You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished three big things. At the end of the day, nobody’s ever wished they’d spent more time arranging their pencil drawer instead of writing their novel, or printing mailing labels instead of landing a big client.

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3. Covey Quadrants

If you just can’t relax unless you absolutely know you’re working on the most important thing you could be working on at every instant, Stephen Covey’s quadrant system as written in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change might be for you.

Covey suggests you divide a piece of paper into four sections, drawing a line across and a line from top to bottom. Into each of those quadrants, you put your tasks according to whether they are:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important and Not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Not Important and Not Urgent

    The quadrant III and IV stuff is where we get bogged down in the trivial: phone calls, interruptions, meetings (QIII) and busy work, shooting the breeze, and other time wasters (QIV). Although some of this stuff might have some social value, if it interferes with your ability to do the things that are important to you, they need to go.

    Quadrant I and II are the tasks that are important to us. QI are crises, impending deadlines, and other work that needs to be done right now or terrible things will happen. If you’re really on top of your time management, you can minimize Q1 tasks, but you can never eliminate them – a car accident, someone getting ill, a natural disaster, these things all demand immediate action and are rarely planned for.

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    You’d like to spend as much time as possible in Quadrant II, plugging away at tasks that are important with plenty of time to really get into them and do the best possible job. This is the stuff that the QIII and QIV stuff takes time away from, so after you’ve plotted out your tasks on the Covey quadrant grid, according to your own sense of what’s important and what isn’t, work as much as possible on items in Quadrant II (and Quadrant I tasks when they arise).

    Getting to Know You

    Spend some time trying each of these approaches on for size. It’s hard to say what might work best for any given person – what fits one like a glove will be too binding and restrictive for another, and too loose and unstructured for a third. You’ll find you also need to spend some time figuring out what makes something important to you – what goals are your actions intended to move you towards.

    In the end, setting priorities is an exercise in self-knowledge. You need to know what tasks you’ll treat as a pleasure and which ones like torture, what tasks lead to your objectives and which ones lead you astray or, at best, have you spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

    These three are the best-known and most time-tested strategies out there, but maybe you’ve got a different idea you’d like to share? Tell us how you set your priorities in the comments.

    More Tips for Effective Prioritization

    Featured photo credit: Mille Sanders via unsplash.com

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